1. sleepngbear's Avatar
    Prem Watsa was one of three directors who were involved with restructuring Heins' compensation package in May of this year, not long before he stepped down from the board. Interesting.

    BlackBerry's Heins, Fairfax's Watsa and the $55 million handshake - Yahoo Finance
    milo53 and m0de25 like this.
    09-26-13 07:48 PM
  2. Bla1ze's Avatar
    I'm waiting for the punchline...
    09-26-13 07:50 PM
  3. sleepngbear's Avatar
    Don't know, Bla1ze, I'm still digesting it. I just find it all very curious.
    milo53 and kbz1960 like this.
    09-26-13 08:02 PM
  4. Peevish's Avatar
    I'm waiting for the punchline...
    a Pee joke?
    09-26-13 08:25 PM
  5. amazinglygraceless's Avatar
    Lord have mercy, this thing has all the makings of a primetime soap opera.
    09-26-13 09:14 PM
  6. sleepngbear's Avatar
    I'm waiting for the punchline...
    "He said 'sprocket', not 'socket'!"
    09-26-13 09:22 PM
  7. milo53's Avatar
    Something's fishy. Interesting timing. Why not just sell the company and give all 4.5B to the Executive Team, almost there now.
    09-26-13 09:26 PM
  8. milo53's Avatar
    (Reuters) - Months before Fairfax Financial Holdings Inc bid $4.7 billion for BlackBerry Ltd, Fairfax boss Prem Watsa played a role in securing a golden parachute worth as much as $55 million for the smartphone maker's chief executive, according to company filings.

    Watsa, Fairfax's chief executive, joined BlackBerry's board in January 2012 and was one of three directors charged in March with reviewing the compensation of the Canadian company's chief executive, Thorsten Heins.

    The three directors - Watsa, BlackBerry Chairwoman Barbara Stymiest and long-time board member John Wetmore - decided to boost Heins' basic salary and incentive bonus, as well as sharply increase the size of the equity awards that he would receive if he loses his job in the event of a takeover.

    The new contract that Heins signed in May tripled his compensation to an estimated $55.6 million if there is a change of control at BlackBerry, up from $18.9 million previously, according to a securities filing on May 21.
    To be sure, the $55.6 million figure is based in part on BlackBerry's share price in early March, and the stock has fallen by more than a third since then, which may mean that Heins' parachute would be worth less.

    Still, Watsa's role in deciding Heins' compensation is drawing scrutiny from some pay experts after BlackBerry on Monday accepted a conditional buyout bid from a consortium led by Fairfax, a property and casualty insurer that owns almost 10 percent of the smartphone maker.

    "(Watsa) was part of the committee that was negotiating this agreement. Did he anticipate that he would make some sort of offer to buy the company? I feel like that's unlikely, but it's impossible to know," said Joe Sorrentino, managing director at executive pay advisors Steven Hall & Partners in New York.

    Sorrentino added, "The only concern I would have is since they structured his compensation equity award so that it all is granted at the beginning ... it is all getting captured in a change of control golden parachute, as opposed to if they did a more typical process" of granting equity awards annually.

    When asked for comment on Thursday, a Fairfax spokesman said Heins' compensation was reviewed and approved by the entire BlackBerry board.

    Watsa stepped down from the board in August, citing a potential conflict of interest after BlackBerry announced a strategic review and sought a buyer. The Fairfax-led consortium aims to take BlackBerry private and give it time to rebuild away from Wall Street's gaze.

    A spokeswoman for BlackBerry said the company had no comment on Watsa's role or Heins' compensation, and Heins himself did not respond to a direct request for comment.

    Towers Watson, the human resources consultancy firm that worked with BlackBerry's board on the compensation package, also declined to comment on Thursday.

    BlackBerry is not the first company in the spotlight for large payments for outgoing executives. Nokia's departing chief executive, Stephen Elop, stands to pocket 18.8 million euros ($25 million) if shareholders agree to sell Nokia's handset business to Microsoft Corp. Elop is set to rejoin Microsoft, his former employer.

    STOCK DOWN MORE THAN 50 PCT

    Heins was appointed BlackBerry CEO in early 2012, taking over from former co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie. In the months before they stepped down, Lazaridis and Balsillie had cut their base salary to $1, a symbolic gesture that they would not draw fat checks while the company was obviously suffering.

    Heins' compensation has increased from $1.9 million in fiscal 2011, when he was chief operating officer, to $10.3 million in fiscal 2012 when he was appointed CEO, before slipping back slightly to $9.1 million in fiscal 2013, which ended on March 2 this year.

    Since Heins took over, BlackBerry shares have fallen more than 50 percent as the company delayed the release of its first BlackBerry 10 devices and they then failed to excite sales.

    In May, Heins signed a new contract that raised his base salary to $1.5 million from $1 million; bumped his maximum incentive bonus to 150 percent of salary from 125 percent and granted him more than $34 million in front-loaded equity awards that vest over three years.

    It is those equity awards that provide the bulk of the enlarged payout if BlackBerry is taken over - the shares would vest immediately instead of over a three-year period.

    According to company filings, if Heins is terminated due to a change of ownership of BlackBerry, he'll receive $3 million to reflect his base salary, annual incentives worth about $4.5 million, and equity awards of $48 million.

    The board said the higher payouts were justified to retain Heins and ensure his interests are aligned with those of shareholders, and to reward the executive for leading BlackBerry through a period of massive upheaval.

    "The necessary speed and scope of this transformation, as well as its critical importance to the future success of the company, demand leadership of exceptional skill, agility and vision," BlackBerry said ahead of its July annual general meeting, when shareholders approved the changes.

    The filings show that BlackBerry's board also gave Heins a "special achievement bonus" of $3 million for launching the BlackBerry 10 platform used for its latest smartphones, and for maintaining cash and liquidity above $1.5 billion.

    Last week, the company said it would book almost $1 billion in writedowns, mostly on unsold BlackBerry 10 devices, when it reports second-quarter results on Friday.

    ($1 = 0.7418 euros)
    09-26-13 09:27 PM
  9. BBNation's Avatar
    All seem to be fabricated. I do not think BlackBerry is and was in that bad shape.

    Posted via CB10
    09-26-13 09:30 PM
  10. milo53's Avatar
    Prem Watsa was one of three directors who were involved with restructuring Heins' compensation package in May of this year, not long before he stepped down from the board. Interesting.

    BlackBerry's Heins, Fairfax's Watsa and the $55 million handshake - Yahoo Finance
    Now why would they suddenly decide to do that? Boy, people sure are generous with other peoples money. No wonder BB is doomed, sorry to say.
    09-26-13 09:33 PM
  11. kevinnugent's Avatar
    Gee. Doesn't sound like Watsa was setting anything up at all.
    kbz1960 likes this.
    09-26-13 09:38 PM
  12. SEAWARRIOR's Avatar
    the whole place is dirty,,, & what is lazardis even still doing around??? he's already being/been investigated,,, the stock sales, this, jets, lies about the launch,,, stinks, all of it...
    Last edited by SEAWARRIOR; 09-28-13 at 01:49 PM.
    09-26-13 09:41 PM
  13. BCITMike's Avatar
    Where is he now? I'd like a golden handshake.
    09-26-13 10:04 PM
  14. njblackberry's Avatar
    So where does the global media conspiracy and those horrible short sellers fit into this?
    Roo Zilla and notfanboy like this.
    09-26-13 11:05 PM
  15. AnimalPak200's Avatar
    Lord,.. I sure hope someone makes a documentary/docudrama out of this whole thing. So many questions, so many conspiracy theories, so much greed/incompetence ....

    Come on Hollywood! You could film in Canada and actually be 'on location' for once!

    Posted via CB10
    09-26-13 11:12 PM
  16. unbreakablej's Avatar
    Maybe BlackBerry can earn more in making a movie....

    Posted via CB10
    thedark722 likes this.
    09-26-13 11:49 PM
  17. JasW's Avatar
    Where is he now? I'd like a golden handshake.
    Just don't ask for a golden shower.
    09-27-13 10:56 AM
  18. zzbsb's Avatar
    Agree with you guys, Blackberry has been set up.
    09-27-13 11:13 AM
  19. thedark722's Avatar
    I would tend to disagree. IMHO, the BBRY board had to provide Thor with some incentive to make sure the best value for shareholders was achieved. With a change in ownership, there is always the high likelihood that management is going to change, especially in light of the results we're seeing from the current management team. Not saying that a change in ownership is in the shareholders' best interest, but if it was, what incentive would he have to push that change if the likely result was going to be him getting axed? I mean, really, would he stand behind a plan that would result in his losing his job? Highly unlikely, he would more likely try to find some alternative that would benefit him as well, and that alternative could possibly be less beneficial to shareholders than a full on change in ownership. I think the board had the right idea in trying to take the 'self preservation' motives out of the decision making process (if that was the intent as I think it was), and leave Thor to make a decision solely on shareholder value. If he's safe either way, he'd likely be able to make an unbiased decision. Now this is not to say that he's making or has made the right decisions, but in my feeble little mind it makes sense.

    Do I think he deserves the parachute? No, I don't think Thor has really provided any major value to the Brand, the Company or the shareholders in his tenure, but in the position he,BBRY and the board are in, I think it was necessary in order to get a decent chance at the best possible outcome of the strategic alternatives initiative as possible. They need him to be onside and support the direction, otherwise the confidence in BBRY will slip down further and faster than it already is...and then it would be less likely that there would be a buyer, partner even willing to help.

    Just my thoughts though.
    09-27-13 11:44 AM
  20. SEAWARRIOR's Avatar
    Just don't ask for a golden shower.
    stockholders got that,,, without so much as a "May I?"
    09-27-13 12:08 PM
  21. lnichols's Avatar
    I'll pay you a ton when you get fired if you drive the company in the ground for me to buy it on the cheap.

    Posted via CB10
    09-27-13 12:23 PM
  22. crajarv's Avatar
    Thorsten, hired to be the "fall guy" for killing the company and positioning it to be sold to the guy manufacturing his parachute. Too many coincidences, too little pushing the product, too mum to then too outspoken when previewing the quarterly numbers, botched BBM launch, followed immediately by the notification of a potential sale to Fairfax.

    I moved over to BBRY wanting them to succeed, pushing my Apple aside. Now all I want is to see Heins and Watsa lose as much $$$ out of this deal. Love my Z10, which is unfortunate, but I'm viewing it as guilty by association to these guys.

    Posted via CB10
    09-27-13 04:48 PM
  23. BCITMike's Avatar
    Thorsten, hired to be the "fall guy" for killing the company and positioning it to be sold to the guy manufacturing his parachute. Too many coincidences, too little pushing the product, too mum to then too outspoken when previewing the quarterly numbers, botched BBM launch, followed immediately by the notification of a potential sale to Fairfax.

    I moved over to BBRY wanting them to succeed, pushing my Apple aside. Now all I want is to see Heins and Watsa lose as much $$$ out of this deal. Love my Z10, which is unfortunate, but I'm viewing it as guilty by association to these guys.

    Posted via CB10
    That's malicious and ignorant. Nobody WANTS to intentionally take over a company and be fall guy, except for those Mitt Romney type companies that take over a company and gut it in really bad ways. I'm sure that they would have made A LOT more money if things were more successful. I'm sure that Watsa has put in a lot more money than its currently worth at this point. Perhaps you don't mind the shame of failure but other people don't no matter how much money comes your way. *shakes head*
    09-27-13 05:29 PM
  24. crajarv's Avatar
    Are you kidding me??? This is a slap in the face to the 4500 people who will not be working at BlackBerry anymore. Where is the incentive to promote this company and its products. If he's FIRED, what's his compensation? (Basically you don't do your job, here's a huge paycheque), oh you sell the company for a minimum price, nope just sell at any cost, what's his compensation? (Sell the company at a nickel per share, who cares, here's your huge paycheque). Here's another kicker, a former insider of the company Prem, provided this sweet deal for Thorsten around May or so??? So, yes I think this purchase has been in the works for a long time. Cash balances are still huge, why, shouldn't marketing and promotion be eating into that balance, NOPE, marketing is nowhere to be found. Just look at all the posts on CB about that topic.

    Previous quarter Thorsten gets his hand slapped for talking too much, overpromise underdeliver...hmmm. This time around there is no mentioning of numbers until...wait...wait just wait, oh a deal is brewing one week before the results. Then during that weekend of the "deal", BBM is botched, further kicking the stock down. Everyone is happy at $9/share because of this downward spiral.

    What value has Thorsten brought to this company? If I can get millions for failing, something is wrong what!!! Whats his downside for taking the job? How have stockholders benefitted?

    So you're right, I'm glad he is going get his big pay cheque, clearly he deserves it, all the while Prem buys the company for cheap. Everyone should be happy with this deal, especially the average shareholder like me or maybe even the workers who lost their job.

    Posted via CB10
    09-27-13 06:10 PM
  25. sanjk1's Avatar
    *Accidental post, sorry*

    Posted via Vader10
    09-28-13 04:21 AM

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